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Byron Shire
December 1, 2021

Seeds of hope for endangered Lennox Head trees

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A file picture of the Coastal Fontainea tree which is found only at Lennox Head.
A file picture of the Coastal Fontainea tree which is found only at Lennox Head.

A community planting day will be held at Lennox Head on Thursday to help save one of Australia’s rarest trees.

Ten seedlings of the critically endangered Coastal Fontainea, which was discovered in 1982, will be planted at Skennars Head for national threatened species day.

Coastal Fontainea is a large shrub or small tree growing up to 10 metres tall, with dark green elliptical leaves up to 12 centimetres long.

It is a rainforest tree that is only found in the littoral rainforest at Lennox Head.

The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage and Ballina Shire Council are organizing the ‘On the Edge’ planting day.

OEH north east regional manager Don Arnold said it was a great opportunity for people to get involved in helping threatened species survive.

‘Saving the Coastal Fontainea is guided by a draft recovery plan and the replanting is part of the NSW Government’s Saving our Species program to secure [the greatest possible number] of threatened species, including Coastal Fontainea, in the wild,’ Mr Arnold said.

‘While ten Coastal Fontainea seedlings might not sound like many, in terms of the total population it is substantial, given it’s arguably the rarest tree in NSW’, Mr Arnold said.

The planting day is part of a $100,000 restoration project that is being funded through the NSW Environmental Trust, and the Office of Environment and Heritage through the Saving our Species program.

The planting day will run from 9.30am until 11am and people are asked to meet at the Skennars Head carpark.

People are asked to bring a hat, boots, water bottle and sunscreen. Morning tea will be provided and there will be a guest speaker and displays.

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